What Happened to Queenie?Dog Experiments at Wayne State
A young Dalmatian mix, Queenie had been a stray and was turned in to a Gratiot County, Mich., animal shelter. Rather than being adopted by a new family, Queenie was transferred to a Class B “random source” animal dealer, who, in turn, sold her to be used in heart experiments. There, experimenters implanted devices into her heart and blood vessels to induce hypertension and forced her to run on a treadmill while recovering from surgery.
The Pain Cascade
Queenie’s veterinary records show the pain and distress she went through. As the experiments proceeded, her restlessness and pain turned to depression and eventually self-mutilation.
“In my experience, no matter which pain-relieving agents were used, dogs undergoing these procedures would be in constant pain,” said Mel Richardson, D.V.M., a veterinarian with more than 40 years of experience, after reviewing the experimental protocol and Queenie’s medical records. “Queenie was living for almost seven months with catheters inside her arteries and veins, catheters which initiated the pain cascade with every bump inside the vessel wall.”
PCRM has received medical records for three dogs used in Wayne State laboratories. Charlie, a brown-and-white hound and Labrador mix, was noticeably frightened when she began treadmill training. As the experiment continued, she showed more and more severe anxiety. After her first major surgery, Charlie’s temperature climbed to 106.6 F, and after hypertension was induced, Charlie showed signs of kidney damage, and eventually she became so sick that laboratory personnel decided to terminate her life.
Jessie, a grey-and-brown husky mix with white paws and chest, was hesitant and tense when she was first forced onto the treadmill. After undergoing major surgery to implant devices into her heart, Jessie woke up lethargic and had fluids leaking from her body. Six days after her surgery, she was found dead. Her necropsy revealed a possible rupture of a coronary artery that may have caused a heart attack or sudden cardiac death.
Wasted Money, Wasted Lives
Queenie, Charlie, and Jessie are three of the hundreds of dogs used in Wayne State’s heart experiments funded with millions of dollars from the National Institutes of Health.
R&R Research, the animal dealer that sold Queenie to Wayne State, has been cited 11 times since 2007 for Animal Welfare Act violations. A senior U.S. Department of Agriculture official has requested that R&R Research’s license be revoked, but the company remains in business while the USDA investigates.